WELCOME to the sixth of the new live blogs on the new-look Angler’s Mail website.
Saturdays will see the good people at The Angling Trust, the single organisation to represent all game, coarse and sea anglers and angling in England, take over our blog. And this latest installment has been written for Angler’s Mail by Mark Lloyd, trust chief executive.
The Angling Trust protect the rights of all anglers to do what they love most. Lobbying Government, campaigning on environmental and angling issues plus running national and international competitions, you’ll find all of the Angling Trust’s main latest activity on their weekly blog, here on the Angler’s Mail website.
We hope you enjoy the blog, and share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above, or by the “old skool” method of telling fellow anglers! Feel free also to comment by using the special space at the bottom on this page.
ACTION ON CORMORANTS
IT HAS been three weeks since my last blog on here, but a huge amount has happened in that time.
The biggest project we’re working on at the moment is a national campaign about cormorants. We’ve launched the next phase of Action on Cormorants this week, which will aim to get thousands of anglers to send a postcard, letter or e-mail to their MP to let them know how important this issue is to the millions of anglers in this country.
We’ll be sending out 80,000 postcards to clubs, fisheries and tackle shops in the next fortnight, so keep an eye out for them. If your local venue or shop isn’t stocking them, ask them to contact the Angling Trust for a poster and a stack of postcards. You’ll also find an easy to cut out coupon in this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine.
We’ve been working on this issue for nearly two years, and our Freshwater Campaigns Manager Mark Owen has been doing a great job on the Defra review group which we persuaded the government to set up to look at licensing. It includes the RSPB and Natural England but anglers want us to go further than just tinkering with the current woefully inadequate system and get cormorants and goosanders onto the general licence.
We’re going to face a lot of flak from the RSPB on this, but we think that with enough support from anglers we can persuade the government to give us the ability to protect our vulnerable fish stocks.
A decision is expected in November, so we need your support NOW!
There are details of how to get involved at www.anglingtrust.net/cormorants and there’s also a brilliant film on the page created by Hugh Miles, who filmed Passion for Angling and a host of wildlife films, about the Avon Roach Project and the need for action on cormorants.
Angling Trust ambassadors turned out for the Action on Cormorants photo call held on the River Severn during the Bewdley Angling Festival, attended by Dave Harrell, Des Taylor and Jan Porter, along with the Trust’s Martin Salter and Mark Owen. Martin stayed to address a lively forum at the Festival where local anglers raised their concerns about the state of fish stocks on the river and were pleased to hear the action we’re taking on cormorants and goosanders, which have literally decimated stocks in many of the upper reaches of the river.
NATIONAL FISHING MONTH
National Fishing Month has kicked off in style, despite the cancellation of the Game Fair.
Martin Salter arranged for the Environment Minister Richard Benyon to launch the initiative with a kids fish-in organised by Reading and District Angling Association (RDAA) at Longwater Lake, Green Park, Reading.
Martin also invited Les Webber MBE to the event which shows that the Trust really does recognise the importance his work, despite what’s been written in the Mail recently…
Radio 2 breakfast host Chris Evans covered National Fishing Month on his show, and the following day Angling Trust Ambassador Dean Macey was Chris’s mystery guest and spoke passionately about his love of specimen and sea fishing.
Once again South Cerney Angling Club pulled out the stops and organised a cracking event for disabled anglers at their lakes on the Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire. The club had eighty participants taking part this year including three children who fished under the guidance of Angling Trust Angling Coaches. Martin Salter attended and gave out the prizes and praised the organisers for showing what a great leveller our sport can be with disability no bar to enjoying some fabulous fishing.
Angling was involved in the build up to the Olympics, with sea angling World Champion, and Angling Trust Ambassador Chris Clark carrying the Olympic torch through the streets of Lymington, watched by 20,000 people, despite driving rain. A video of Chris Clark’s run is available here.
Chris said that carrying the Torch was even more satisfying personally than winning his first World Championships, and it was a great day for angling. For several years in the late nineties Chris was ranked as the No.1 in the World but a horrific accident in 2001 has seen him only fish a few times at international level in recent years. We’re delighted that competitive angling got this high profile exposure and Chris was the perfect ambassador.
We launched the National Angling Survey a couple of weeks back, which has been really successful, with an amazing 30,000 anglers taking part already. If you haven’t done so yet, please visit www.anglingtrust.net/nationalanglingsurvey . It only takes 10 minutes and it’s a great chance to have your say about the future of fishing.
We’re launching an organisations survey this week for clubs, fisheries, tackle shops and anyone else involved in getting people into fishing. This is part of the creation of our National Angling Participation Plan, which will be completed in the autumn.
We held an event at Aston University last week for more than 40 people involved in major angling participation projects. There was a really good atmosphere at the event – one person said to me that it was the first angling meeting she had been to where everyone had been positive! If angling is to survive in the future, we have to up our game significantly to get more young anglers on the bank.
I haven’t done much fishing since the last blog, but I did take one weekend off to get down to the West Country for my annual trip with a few mates to try and catch salmon and sea trout on various rivers in Devon.
There was certainly a lot of water about, and I managed to catch two salmon and a fabulous 11 lb sea trout, which is a fish of a lifetime. Apparently it’s the largest sea trout caught on that river for the last 50 years or so.
I would have had trouble landing it if my mates hadn’t been on hand to help and also to take a photo before I released her to go and spawn. An unforgettable fish that will be in my memory (and on my screen saver) for a very long time.
Angling Trust membership numbers in all categories are creeping up slowly, but surely, which is pretty good given the economic situation out in the country. It’s clear that more and more anglers are realising that 50p a week is a small price to pay to support a unified organisation which is fighting for the future of fish and fishing.
We’ll be announcing new membership benefits in the next couple of weeks, including a list of 50 fisheries where Angling Trust members get a 10% discount. This list is growing fast and we hope that this will convince more anglers to support us, because they’ll save most of their membership fee on these discounts. If you’re not a member yet, why not join today at www.anglingtrust.net ?
Right, that’s me – Mark Lloyd, Angling Trust chief exec – signing off for now. I’ll be back here with Angler’s Mail in a week’s time (Saturday, August 11). Until then enjoy the website, the magazine – and your fishing!
THE NEXT ANGLING TRUST BLOG WILL APPEAR ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 11.
Here’s the list of all our new blogs and when they go live:
MONDAY: Carp crews on rotation – Korda, Fox, Nash and ACE.
TUESDAY: Steve Collett, Mail contributor and ultimate all-rounder.
WEDNESDAY: Angler’s Mail HQ – yes, us!
THURSDAY: Specialists from Pike Anglers Club, Korum and Pallatrax, on rotation.
FRIDAY: Carl & Alex, Angler’s Mail juniors and video diary makers.
SATURDAY: The Angling Trust – guys at the governing body.
SUNDAY: Colin Mitchell, veteran coarse angler and top journalist